Aside

Lent 25: Domestic violence

True Grit: Women Taking On the World, for God's Sake

Domestic violence has been pervasive in Japan for so long that it is considered a normal part of marriage. Abuse was only talked about publicly in 1998. A national survey conducted in February 2000 by the Prime Minister’s Office found that 1 out of 20 women are ‘subjected to life-threatening violence.’ Many of the victims are housewives who are unable or unwilling to seek assistance. Japan offers only about 40 shelters for battered women.

Wives murdered by their husbands constitute approximately 30 percent of all the murders committed in the country. In the year 2000, cases of injury resulting in death, in which a ‘husband kills his wife as a result of continuous hitting and kicking,’ received a sentence of only 6 to 8 years imprisonment. A new law enacted in 2001 is designed to help protect victims, but enforcement is difficult since only between 1 and 10 percent of women report abuse.

Wondering what this is all about? Read my post explaining why and how I’m commemorating Lent this year.

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